Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to
which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they
worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to
them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I
am with you always, to the close of the age."
Scripture: Romans 8:14-17
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into
fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship.When we cry,
"Abba! Father!" 16 it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with
our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then
heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we
suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Meditation: How can we know who God is? Jesus revealed to
his disciples the great mystery of our faith - the triune nature
of one God in three persons and the inseparable union of the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus' mission is to reveal the
glory of God to us - a Trinity of persons - God the Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit - and to unite us with God in a community of
unbreakable unity and everlasting love. The ultimate end, the
purpose for which God created us, is the entry of God's sons and
daughters into the perfect unity of the blessed Trinity.
Jesus, the Son of God, reveals the Father's true nature
The Jews understood God as Creator and Father of all that he made (Deuteronomy 32:6) and they understood the nation of Israel as God's firstborn son (Exodus 4:22). Jesus reveals the Father in an unheard of sense. He is eternally Father by his relationship to his only Son, who, reciprocally, is Son only in relation to his Father (see Matthew 11:27). The Spirit, likewise, is inseparably one with the Father and the Son.
Through baptism we share in the life of the Trinity
The mission of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit are the same. That is why Jesus tells his disciples that the Spirit will reveal the glory of the Father and the Son and will speak what is true. Before his Passover, Jesus revealed the Holy Spirit as the "Paraclete" and Helper who will be with Jesus' disciples to teach and guide them "into all the truth" (John 14:17,26; 16:13). In baptism we are called to share in the life of the Holy Trinity here on earth in faith and after death in eternal light.
Clement of Alexandria, a third century church father, wrote:
"What an astonishing mystery! There is one Father of the universe, one Logos (Word) of the universe, and also one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same; there is also one virgin become mother, and I should like to call her 'Church'."
We can have a personal relationship with the Father and the
Son through the gift and working of the Holy Spirit
How can we personally know the Father and his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ? It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the Father and the Son to us and who gives us the gift of faith to know and understand the truth of God's word. Through the Holy Spirit, we proclaim our ancient faith in the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ until he comes again. The Lord gives us his Holy Spirit as our divine Teacher and Helper that we may grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God. Do you seek the wisdom that comes from above and do you willingly obey God's word?
Jesus' departure and ascension into heaven was both an end and a beginning for his disciples. While it was the end of Jesus' physical presence with his beloved disciples, it marked the beginning of Jesus' presence with them in a new way. Jesus promised that he would be with them always to the end of time. He assured them of his power - a power which overcame sin and death. Now as the glorified and risen Lord, ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven, Jesus promised to give his disciples the power of the Holy Spirit, which we see fulfilled ten days later on the Feast of Pentecost (Luke 24:49 and Acts 2:1-4). When the Lord Jesus departed physically from the apostles, they were not left alone or powerless. Jesus assured them of his presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our mission is to proclaim the love of God our Father who
saved us through his Son, Jesus Christ, and who unites us in
his Holy Spirit
Jesus' last words to his apostles point to his saving mission and to their mission to be witnesses of his saving death and his glorious resurrection and to proclaim the good news of salvation to all the world. Their task is to proclaim the "good news" of salvation, not only to the people of Israel, but to all the nations. God's love and gift of salvation is not just for a few, or for a nation, but it is for the whole world - for all who will accept it. The Gospel (the Good News of Jesus Christ) is the power of God, the power to forgive sins, to heal, to deliver from evil and oppression, and to restore life. Do you believe in the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
"May the Lord Jesus put his hands on our eyes also, for then we too shall begin to look not at what is seen but at what is not seen. May he open the eyes that are concerned not with the present but with what is yet to come, may he unseal the heart's vision, that we may gaze on God in the Spirit, through the same Lord, Jesus Christ, whose glory and power will endure throughout the unending succession of ages." (prayer of Origin, 185-254 AD)
4 For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD, let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood forth.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death, and keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield.
21 Yes, our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The pledge of the Holy Spirit, by Ambrose of Milan, 339-397 A.D.
"Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God's presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with His sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed His pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts" (excerpt from De Mysteriis 7, 42).
Scripture quotations from Common Bible:
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright
1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard
Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the
Division of Christian Education of the National
Council of the Churches of Christ in the United
States of America. Used by permission. All rights
reserved. Citation references for quotes
from the writings of the early church fathers can
be found here.
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